To a hole in the world crept peasants and presidents seeking the most irrational and wonderful myth since the Creation; God becoming one with His handiwork, inserting Himself into all its glory and brokenness. This moment that sparked the rebellion of the greatest angels before time even began (according to Duns Scotus) was now ignored or unknown by the majority of the world, despite a people’s entire legacy of preparation.
For a moment in time, Heaven appeared under the Earth and the sky stood in bright witness. A simple stable where angels rubbed shoulders with Magi and jostled with shepherds became the Cave of Wonders, filled with light, peace and silence.
In celebration of this celestial cavern, we bring you a selection of twenty paintings by the masters for your enjoyment and meditation.
1. The Adoration of the Kings from the Monforte Altarpiece (c. 1470) is an oil on oak panel painting of the Adoration of the Magi by the Flemish painter Hugo van der Goes, now in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany. Van der Goes was a Flemish painter and one of the most important of the Early Netherlandish painters.
2. The Adoration of the Shepherds also by Hugo van der Goes
3. Adoration of the Kings, by Abraham Bloemaert, a Dutch painter and printmaker in etching and engraving. He was one of the “Haarlem Mannerists” from about 1585.
4. Adoration of the Kings by Giuseppe Chiari (1564-1727), an Italian painter of the late-Baroque period, active mostly in Rome.
5. Adoration of the Kings by Gerard de Laresse (1641-1711), a Dutch Golden Age painter and art theorist.
6. Adoration of the Kings by Master of Perea
7. Adoration of the Kings by Joseph Adam Ritter von Mölk (1718-1794 ), an Austrian frescoes and panel painter.
8. Adoration of the Magi by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), a Flemish Baroque painter and proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement and color.
9. Adoration of the Magi by Peter Paul Rubens
10. Adoration of the Magi by Jean Jouvenet (1644-1717), a French painter specializing in religious subjects.
11. Adoration of the Shepherds by Christian Wilhelm Ernst Dietrich (1712 – April 23, 1774), a German painter and art administrator.
12. Adoration of the Shepherds Bernardo Cavallino (1616–1656), an Italian painter of the Baroque period, working in Naples.
13. Adoration of the Shepherds by Jacob van Oost (1603–1671), a Flemish Baroque painter of history paintings and portraits.
14. The Nativity by Jean Charles Frontier (1701-1763), a French painter famous for his religious and mythological paintings.
15. Adoration of the Shepherds by Philippe de Champaigne (1602–1674), a Brabançon-born French Baroque era painter, a major exponent of the French school.
16. Adoration of the Shepherds by François Boucher (1703-1770), a French painter in the Rococo style, perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century.
17. Adoration of the Shepherds by Jean Baptiste Marie Pierre (1714-1789), a French painter, draughtsman and administrator.
18. Adoration of the Shepherds by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), a Spanish baroque painter, best known for his religious works, as well as realistic depictions of the everyday life of his times.
19. Adoration of the Shepherds by Friar Juan Bautista Maíno (1569 – 1 April 1649), a Spanish painter of the Baroque period.
20. The Nativity by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (1621-1674), a Dutch Golden Age painter and a favorite student of Rembrandt. He was also an etcher, an amateur poet, a collector and an adviser on art.
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